Analysis - Brychka - Jillian Brychka ENG 222-075 Justin...

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Jillian Brychka ENG 222-075 Justin Larsen 12 October 2009 A Very Fine Line: Abuse and Discipline “Kate ‘seemed to lose her temper’ and said, ‘Did you not hear me?’ Then she stormed over to her daughter, grabbed her and hit her. ‘The girl was screaming and crying,’ the witness adds” (Intouch). This account was taken by Intouch Weekly Magazine , describing the incident that transpired between Kate Gosselin from the television series “John and Kate Plus Eight” and her eight year old daughter. Kate, after multiple warnings, spanked her daughter for her disregard to her mother’s authority, and in turn was accused of child abuse. In America the definitions of child abuse and child discipline have been reviewed, studied, and practiced by law enforcement officials, psychologists, and parents and have significantly changed over many generations. In Colorado today, the child abuse laws state that any purposeful harm resulting in bodily injury, bruising or bleeding is considered to be abusive and must be reported. The question then posed is whether spanking a child should be considered abuse or discipline. In generations prior, spanking was not remotely compared to abuse, however, the definition has changed dramatically. Colorado law defines child abuse as, “where child exhibits evidence of skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, burns, fractures, etc.; or circumstances indicate a condition that may not be the product of an accidental occurrence” (Colorado Law). Therefore, if spanking a child results in bruises or welts, the child can be considered abused by the parent or caregiver. In earlier times far worse
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punishments were administered to children and were not considered to be abusive. It is also stated that certain people are now obligated by law to report any suspicious signs of or apparent abuse towards a child, “Reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child is subject to circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect must be reported” (Colorado Law). In earlier generations, such as, the 1950’s and 1960’s most people did not report suspected or apparent child abuse. The discipline inside the home
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